What movies tell us about Millennials, Gen X and Boomers

I often think that what movies you watch as a teenager tells you something about what you’ll be like later. It could be that the movies reflect the culture you were living in during your formative years or it could be that movies even create the culture. Whatever the reason, it would be interesting to see what movies were popular during the teenage years of each generation, defined as:

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How To Rethink Time To Become Fulfilled (3 min read)

Raised in western culture, I think of time as an arrow. That is, I feel I’m constantly moving forward to the future leaving the past behind. Implicit within this is the notion that I’m progressing. While this has many benefits, it has many  shortcomings too. A fundamental one is that I’m never happy where I am. But there are there other ways to think about time, which can make life more fulfilling: Continue reading “How To Rethink Time To Become Fulfilled (3 min read)”

The World Before and After COVID

I’ve been thinking a lot about how COVID will change the world. I put the following together in my research job at Macro Hive.  BC is “before COVID” and AC is “after COVID” :

Bilal

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The sentence with most information

The supremely entertaining and smart physicist, Richard Feynman, was once tasked to giving introductory physics lectures to Caltech students. Feynman being Feynman started by posing this question:

“If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?”

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What Exactly Is a Virus?

Viruses are themselves an enigma that exist on the edges of life. That’s how John Barry describes viruses in his excellent The Great Influenza, which describes the events around the 1918 Spanish Flu. Barry has the knack for explaining biological concepts. In the era of the coronavirus, I thought it would be good to know what a virus actually is and his description is one of the best I’ve read. I’ve extracted the relevant parts from the book and you’ll see what I mean:

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The coronavirus has covered everything.

As we continue living in isolation, the words of Albert Camus in The Plague keep coming back to me. It was published in 1947, yet it captures the mood we are in today so well. I guess plagues and pandemics affect people in the same way, no matter what era we live in. Here are some excerpts and I replace the words ‘plague’ with ‘coronavirus’ and ‘pestilence’ with ‘pandemic’ to make it feel more current:

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Tips to mentally survive the COVID lockdown

I was recently asked by a friend what tips I had to stay mentally strong during these uncertain times. Here’s what I suggested:

1) I’ve been reading and watching plague-related content! So for example, I read Camus’ The Plague and I recently watched the Korean show Kingdom (historical drama with zombies!). They give me a visceral feeling of much worse situations which makes our current situation look better.

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